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Google Challenge Microsoft Office with Workspace

October 13, 2020 - Fifteen

Google is taking it to Microsoft Office with its newest integrated office system. Google Workspace is a big rebrand and redesign and all its office apps into an integrated service. Gmail, Docs, Sheets, Meet, and Calendar are all packed with new features with Javier Soltero, the VP of Google Workspace claiming; “This is the end of the ‘office’ as we know it.” This could mean Microsoft’s domination, it could mean the rise of remote work. Only time will tell.

Reinventing the Wheel

Google hasn’t blazed any trails with Workspace. Brands have all started leaning towards integration to improve user experience. Microsoft tried it with its Fluid framework in Office. We’ve even seen it on social media platforms with the announcement that Facebook and Instagram are merging their messaging services. Google is simply joining the bandwagon with their latest offering.

New Features

So what can we expect from this brand new Workspace? We’ll see over time as Google rollout features over the coming months. Initially, users will be able to quickly view other documents embedded or linked to a document. For example; if you reference a Google Slide in a report, you can hover over the link and cycle through the Slide in a smaller window.

Another release feature is the ability to @ people within documents to make finding relevant information easier for teams and clients.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll see bigger innovations. Creating documents directly from a Chat window and jumping into a video call while presenting a Slide are just a few that have been hinted at.

New Pricing Models

If you can’t stand to wait and want the tools ASAP then you’ll have to invest in a business account. Non-business users will have to wait for Google to roll out these features as and when they see fit.

This new system is all about making up for lost ground on the likes of Zoom, Slack, Basecamp, and other management software. With remote working becoming the new norm, Google thinks it’s the perfect time to get in the market and compete with smaller, if not more specialised competitors.

Plug and Play

Interestingly, even with Google looking to challenge other management and communication software, they still offer support to third-party apps. This means you can blend Google Workspace with existing Slack, Zoom, Skype, and whatever else you use to create a bespoke office system that works across all systems and platforms. This is an interesting choice and makes it seem like Google is trying to meet businesses halfway. Changing systems can be an arduous process so Google could be hoping to slowly assimilate into the professional landscape. Who knows? Maybe one day, we’ll say “Let’s Slide it” the same way people use “Google it” or “Skype me”.

Digital marketing and remote working are increasingly important parts of the way we do business. Meetings, sales, advertising, and even the Friday Work Quiz rely on robust digital applications and programs. Google Workspace is looking to stake its claim in the business world by blending in new features, Google’s constancy, and convenient cross-platform play.

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